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7th Dec, 2021

Panthers bounce back at the death

Ben Tyler 29th Jun, 2021

WARWICKSHIRE League Premier Divison leaders Stratford-upon-Avon had skipper Dexter Purser to thank for an impressive six-wicket haul in an eventual six-wicket win over Solihull Municipal last weekend.

Having fallen to their first loss of the season two weeks ago against Streetly, there was no such repeat this time around as Purser’s men reached the visitors’ 252 target score with only four wickets conceded at Swans Nest Lane.

In what could have been a tricky test given Solihull’s sizeable score after the hosts’ opted to field, the Panthers got over the line with nine balls to spare.

Municipal may have lost the first wicket at 12-1, but they soon recovered through the partnership of 81 between James Roslyn (60) and Henri Lewis (18) for the second wicket.

Even more impressively, perhaps, was the quickfire stand of 111 between skipper Mike Rowley (33) and Nathan Boyce (80) that shot Solihull up over the 200-run mark with only four wickets conceded.

But from there the visitors let their guard down, allowing Purser (6-42) and Mike Brown (2-52) to run through Municipals’ middle-to-late order to skittle their opponents out seven balls before the innings was out.

And while Stratford’s captain could not repeat his heroics at the crease after departing after the fourth ball, his teammates were on hand to lead the way and secure an eighth win this term.

Gareth Langman (28) and George Burford (30, lbw) chipped away to improve the Panthers’ standing, before the big-hitting Josh Hickman (92) and Luke Nardone (54, no) smashed 123 between them to send their side hurtling towards victory.

While Hickman was eventually caught out following a Gurpal Dahele (2-35) delivery, Nick Pepper (35) provided the essential support to Nardone to see the job through.

Eighth-placed Sutton Coldfield will be the hosts on Saturday when Stratford head to Rectory Park for their next encounter.

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